Lifestyle Police/Fire

West Hartford Man Hit by Car While Jogging Passes Away

Andrej Cavarkapa, who was hit by a car while crossing Trout Brook Drive on Jan. 25, has died of his injuries.

Andrej Cavarkapa. Image from GoFundMe campaign page

Andrej Cavarkapa. Image from GoFundMe campaign page

By Ronni Newton

Andrej Cavarkapa, 30, of West Hartford, died Tuesday as a result of injuries he sustained when he was hit by a car while jogging last week.

Police confirmed Wednesday that Cavarkapa had passed away on Tuesday afternoon at St. Francis Hospital.

West Hartford resident Cindy Gerber was at the hospital yesterday when Cavarkapa passed away. Her son, Matt, was one of Cavarkapa’s best friends, she said.

Gerber said that his friends shared the following thoughts: “He was doing what he loved. His life was full and he was in a very happy place. I’m told his favorite time to run it was snowing outside. Yesterday as he left us, the snow was falling ever so beautifully.” 

According to Gerber, Hannah Lawrie, Cavarkapa’s girlfriend, said “she said she thought he was running up to heaven.”

Andrej Cavarkapa and his girlfriend, Hannah Lawrie. Photo courtesy of Cindy Gerber

Andrej Cavarkapa and his girlfriend, Hannah Lawrie. Photo courtesy of Cindy Gerber

According to an update on the GoFundMe page that had been set up to assist the family with medical expenses, Cavarkapa had undergone a craniotomy several days ago in order to relieve pressure in his skull. He had been able to move his fingers and toes slightly and was responding to pain, his friend posted, and the doctors proceeded with the surgery which resulted in improvement in his intracranial pressure.

The GoFundMe campaign had raised $25,842, exceeding the $25,000 goal.

“It’s devastating to family, friends, and the school community at RHAM,” West Hartford Police Capt. Jeff Rose said Wednesday.

Cavarkapa taught several science classes, including physics, at RHAM High School in Hebron.

“It sounds like he was a very beloved person and it’s a real tragedy,” Rose said. “The thoughts and prayers of the West Hartford Police Department are with the family.”

According to police, Cavarkapa was jogging west on Asylum Avenue and was in the crosswalk of Trout Brook Drive when he was struck by a southbound vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle that hit Cavarkapa, 19-year-old Khang Nguyen of South Windsor, had a green light, police said. He has not been charged in the incident, Rose said.

No further information about the accident has been released.

Rose said that he did not yet have any information about funeral arrangements or other services. That information will be added once it is available.

“It was an unbelievably tragic accident,” Rose said.

Andrej Cavarkapa (second from left) with his best friends. Photo courtesy of Cindy Gerber

Andrej Cavarkapa (second from left) with his best friends. Photo courtesy of Cindy Gerber

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  • It really bothers me that the media still uses the old fashioned term “jogging.” This word is only used in headlines when someone gets injured, hit by a car, murdered, dies, etc. the term “jogging” indicates that the person was out for a leisurely stroll and was quite casual about it, almost in a goofy way which makes it seem like whatever happened to them is their fault. What they were actually doing was “running.” Not jogging!

    • I really do appreciate this comment, Jen. I am a runner – not as fast as I used to be, but I still consider it a serious activity. When I think about jogging, I envision someone from the 1980s in their white Reebok Princess sneakers. And I did think about the term “jogger” before I used it in the story, and didn’t use it just because the police did. The term does make it clearer that the person was exercising, not engaged in a race. In this case, it’s a tragedy for all involved.

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